Regularly I look at cards and writing paper in the newsagents. It seems to call my name as I walk past every week. And I get quite a few ideas from looking too and I take notice of the prices. The average card I seem to like it around $8. Even gift tags are still a couple of dollars and up to four dollars each.
The other day I realised my card supply has run low and I am scraping the bottom of the barrel. I remembered some cards I had seen on etsy that were just gorgeous and started to dream about these! Then went and had a new look and the fact that each card had a matching sticker that you put on the envelope just made me fall in love with them! I actually started to pick out what I would like to order. And within a couple of minutes I was up to over forty dollars. And I was just warming up!
This happens easily doesn't it! But I remembered my pantry challenge and the holiday we are saving for and 101 other things...
It was the stickers that did it.
Now, I have card making supplies. I buy blank cards for $2 for a pack of 6 with envelopes and I save books to cut up for images. I have a boxful of lovely things. And I had a brain wave that I could just cut out little matching images and GLUE them onto envelopes and that would be the same as stickers. What is the difference after all? So this weekend while it has been hot I took over the dining room table and began.
So far I have made 12 cards with matching envelopes with "stickers" and I have cut out images to make a few dozen more. At shop prices the 12 I've made would have cost $96 and they cost me $7 to make (2 packs of blank cards plus op shop rose book for $3)
These are the simplest cards I have made. Just a rose image, a dot of bling and matching envelope with sticker. The old fashioned book of roses was a great find and has given me over a hundred pictures for $3. Images that are too small will be gift tags or go on my envelopes.
I do make some for boys too. The men in my family all like wildlife and mostly are farmers so I made cards with eagles, ducks, deer etc. and have a supply of these.
It is such a lot of money when I look at it, to save or to spend. But $8 here and $8 there really adds up. At two cards a week if I was to buy nice ones that is over $800 a year. Imagine what I could add to my pantry for that! Maths always amazes me. How a small amount like this a week is $800 a year of $8000 over ten years just is mind boggling!
Making cards is not a new solution for me as I have made cards regularly for years (and have a posted tutorial here and lots of pictures of other cards plus my ruffled cards here here I like to make). But thinking how easy it is to spend lots of little bits and how they add up so quickly has me really appreciating what a saving this is. And it allows me to write a card and send it without thinking too much of the costs.
I decided to show my simple cards as there is nothing to them. Anyone can make them and in any theme you like. You could get the children making them as they love cutting out and glue!
I started a series of bird cards from a bird book I just love the images...
Just think of the images you love or will suit your family and friends. A book of ballerinas or horses or whatever is going to be loved by the people you are most often sending cards to.
Whenever I am away I take a box of cards and paper and write letters. As I make cards I think who will like which ones. My card box is my little box of gold. Last holiday I sat outside in the sun and wrote letters and popped them into cards and once a day walked to the post box. Heavenly!
When I visit Kath she has my cards around her room and I know she loves them. Plus they brighten up her little world. They are my extravagance without being extravagant! I guess this way they are costing
50 or 60c each at the most.
During the week I will get a couple dozen more made, I might show some more on Feather your Nest Friday.
There are so many things that we can make ourselves and actually enjoy the process too. Many things don't even require any artistic talent just are a simple process/production line. And the savings can be just huge! In the case of something like cards they can also be packaged up into groups of six and tied up with a ribbon to use as a gift. I have added a pen or stamps and then I have a present. For letter writers/card lovers this has been a hit.
Now that it is Monday and I need to grocery shop I know I have the money I didn't spend on Etsy and will add something to my pantry instead! I feel good about that already!
Have a wonderful week. After a really hot weekend we have much milder days to look forward to! xxx